Music Reviews



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Artist: YUKI KAWAMURA - YOSHIHIRO HANNO
Title: slide
Format: DVD
Label: Lowave (@)
Rated: *****
The joyful wedding between Yoshihiro Hanno's musical gift and the enchanting images of Yuki Kawamura gave us a pure piece of art, I still can’t say if this a must have but it’s top class for real. As many of you can probably deduce a series of clips appropriate for Hanno's melodies necessitates a couple of important characteristis: the first one is an strong lyrical power, the second one is an (apparent) simplicity with which the afore mentioned power is articulated. Different videos for different atmospheres, but there's a "file rouge" that links the nine videos (ten including the bonus one) of this dvd, here your eyes are gonna meet sliding doors, the womb of a void warehouse, breaking pieces of glass, leaves...beautiful leaves, clouds and an ocean of colours. If you think (like I do) some contemporary japanese electronic music is strongly emotionally charged but also gentle and shy (think of Sawako or Minamo for example): the images featuring Kawamura's clips are made out of the same fabric and embody the same spirit. It's hard to choose between the different clips but it's also so easy to fall in love with episode like "Slide" or "Jour de reve" or "Play at dusk"?!...above all in the last case how can you resist to dive plunge your thought s into such a good-looking cumulus of clouds?. When the images aren’t rendering beautifully the unseen passing of time they will guide you into the secret life of elements (take "Ve" for example). In the last case the view I probably really close to that of a an insect or a rock thus we can say the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Hanno's music keeps its enchanting effect intact but with the aid of Kawamura the inward eye experience brings into another dimension.

BELTANE: Spell Of Harmony

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (2588)
Mar 15 2006
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Artist: BELTANE (@)
Title: Spell Of Harmony
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Electron (@)
Rated: *****
Beltane released in the past two albums and an EP. Their newest release SPELL OF HARMONY isn't exactly a new album, because it collects seven reworked versions of their previous songs. This EP isn't a dj remix collection of band's songs, because Paul Handley (the man behind Beltane's lyrics and music) did all the work. The MCD contains "Spell of harmony" (coming from "Dyonisian blood" EP and "The fire of becoming' CD), "On the fly", "A self willed commission" (coming from "The fire of becoming' CD), "Dyonisian blood" " (coming from "Dyonisian blood" EP and "The fire of becoming' CD), "The enchanted ocean" (coming from "The fire of becoming' CD), "Foreign shore" (coming from "World of dreams" CD), and "Impasse" (coming from "The fire of becoming' CD). The new versions present a sound that convinced me more respect the original ones. This time the dancey rhythm and the electronic arrangements are the main elements of the tracks and in my opinion this helped giving to the female vocals a support that wasn't present on the old versions. In this way the old electro goth sound is revived and it finds new energy thanks to the new sound.

THE MAGICAKE: Botoxxx

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 13 2006
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Artist: THE MAGICAKE (@)
Title: Botoxxx
Format: CD
Label: Piloft Recordings
Rated: *****
The Magicake are an Italian band formed on 2002. BOTOXXX is their first album and even if four years has passed since their early days, the band has already collected a certain success into fashion shows (where their music is used) or in Milan at clubs like the Glitter or the Rocket. DJ Pisti (ex Subsonica), which is now working with Motel Connection (along with Subsonica's singer, Samuel) is involved into the production along with the band and Marco Bertoni (Confusional Quartet's band member and now producer or active with his own experimental electronic project). The Magicake album gathers classic electro song with catchy tunes and dancey rhythms (see "I was dancing with Boy George", "Black leather" or "I don't care" where the electro clash meets a certain punk atmosphere) with obsessive tracks where one pattern is looped while Lulu's vocals sound sometimes seducing and sometimes detached (see "Latex dreams" or "When I was a girl") . There's also a good variety of influences that affect the band's music: if "Mary Ann" and "Man in make up" sound a little like Le Tigre, "Plastic divas" remember me the homonymous Client's track. New wave, electro dance, punk and dj culture are all blended just to looking for a new form of beauty. Sometimes the glamour factor seems to be more important respect the music but after a few listenings, you realize that there's fire under the ashes. This is the game and The Magicake are good at it!

MANES: [View]

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 13 2006
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Artist: MANES (@)
Title: [View]
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Aural Music (@)
Rated: *****
After various line-up change during the years and after releasing two albums and several demos, the Manes see the release of their new EP titled [VIEW] that will be their last release for the Italian label Code 666/Aural Music. This new EP contains two new songs ("The neoflagellata revision" and "Knife & kleenex"), two covers ("Cinder alley" originally by 16 Horespower and "Title" which is somewhat inspired by Duran Duran) and three remixes de-constructed by Cordell Klier and DJ Don Tomaso. The two original songs are good mixture of melodic goth metal with powerful electronic e.b.m. arrangements (a sort of Metallica plays Nine Inch Nails). The two covers are two melancholic metal ballads (I don't appreciate the genre, so I can't tell you it they are good or not. Certainly they are well recorded and all, but I'm not a lover of this stuff). The two Cordell Klier remix ("Terminus deconstructus" and "Terminus dei profundis") balance well the industrial and the electronic sources. The latter is a little extreme (hisses and digital noise are the main elements) but it's the only noisy track of the lot, so it's ok. DJ Don Tomaso's remix of "Terminus" make of it a dub track without deleting its goth vein. A good track but it doesn't evolve during it six minutes lenght.
At the moment the band is without label but Kyrck Productions just reissued their three demos on one CD, so you can check their music anyway.

ROTERSAND: Dare To Live

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2582)
Mar 13 2006
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Artist: ROTERSAND (@)
Title: Dare To Live
Format: CD EP
Label: Dependent / Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Under the moniker "perspectives on welcome to goodbye" the trio ROTERSAND presents us here a remix EP picking up the lines and the success of their last year’s full length release "Welcome To Goodbye". Entitled to be the best "Electro-Album 2005" (Zillo – Musikmagazin) this album could enter the 2nd position on the DAC year-end album charts – only DEPECHE MODE with their "Playing The Angel" could hold the top position. So that’s of course a not expected success for this German act and so no real wonder, that a follow-up needed to be produced and released. First off, the concept of this EP differs from any usual compareable release because it focuses not only on some more or less worthy remix contributions, this EP is holds also asides this two new tracks "Give It All Away" and "Drop Your Education", and ROTERSAND themselves reworked their own tracks. The result is satisfying, the new versions of "Dare To Live" and "Almost Wasted" can more convince here. But the highlights are both new tracks, especially "Give It All Away" has an extremely remarkable melodic content, also the vocal duet between Rasc and Julia Beyer of the new Alfa Matrix signing TECHNOIR can totally convince. SOMAN ("By The Waters") and haujobb. ("Strom") offer the mentioned remix contributions and make this EP complete. 9 tracks in all, only "Almost Wasted" is featured in two different versions – if you liked somehow "Welcome To Goodbye" you have to buy this new one as well. Also for me personally this EP convinced me easier then the full-length. Hats down, guys, good and modern Electro/Futurepop stuff!


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